The Honickman Foundation


Heather Tone, Likenesses

Heather Tone has been chosen as the 2016 APR/Honickman First Book Prize for her manuscript, Likenesses. Her book was chosen by guest judge, esteemed poet Nick Flynn. In his introduction he writes, "Likenesses is made up of five sequences of poems, many of which use the engine of simile to drive them forward. Running alongside this simile-generating machine, there is something also here of Genesis—the book is, in part, an origin myth, an attempt to create the world by naming it."

"It's almost impossible to explain why the playfulness of Heather Tone's Likenesses produces such delight... Freedom, light, leggerezza, speed, and depth. Crystal abyss, 'nothing,' a touch of kabala. Perfect projections of shades between death and life, a scent of Eden. Like four-year-old boys throwing clumps of mud at each other, bursting into happy laughter. These lines scream with joy."
—Boston Review

When he is dead, a man in a
bathing suit looks most like a little boy.
A woman in a bathing suit
looks like a woman, unless she is quite
thin, in which case she looks like a little boy.
A little girl in a sundress looks like a little boy
in a sundress. Her mouth is a cold oval, as cold
as a strawberry. When dead, a robin red-breast
looks like a little girl, while it goes without
saying that Robin Hood looks like a boy...

Heather Tone's poetry has appeared in The Boston Review, The Colorado Review, Fence, and other journals. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, she currently lives in Florida.

About the Prize

Recent Poetry Winners

In This Section